Described as an ‘intoxicating cocktail of crime thriller and family saga A Town Called Malice is the latest offering from SKY.
Set in the early ’80s the series follows the Lords – a family of South London gangsters a family who flee to the Costa del Sol in Spain following a gangland battle.
Joining the stand out cast which includes Martha Plimpton and Jason Flemyng is The Haunting of Bly Manor star Tahirah Sharif who plays ‘Cindy‘ girlfriend to Gene Lord (Jack Rowan), whose troubled past threatens to catch up with her.
We spoke to Sharif to find out more …
Please introduce yourself …
I’m Tahirah Sharif, I’m a British actress who hails from South London.
Describe your life right now in a word or one sentence …
Tell us about A Town Called Malice …
It’s an intoxicating cocktail of crime thriller and family saga set in the mid-80s. My character Cindy meets and becomes engaged to the youngest son of a family of former South London gangsters. After an unfortunate accident, they have to flee to Spain where trouble never seems too far away.
What’s your role in A Town Called Malice?
I play Cindy Carter who is a total badass! She is fiercely loyal to the ones she loves and will do anything necessary to protect them, which can sometimes lead to her making quite questionable decisions.
Image Credit: Cristina Rios Bordon/Sky TV
How did the role find you?
My agent sent me the script for this and it was the most exciting thing I had read in a very long time. Nick Love who is the writer & creator writes these types of characters so well and so authentically. I had a chemistry read with Jack Rowan who plays Gene Lord, and fortunately, we got on really well and were so at ease with each other right away, which I believe helped in us booking this job.
There’s a lot of action in this series what attracted you to the role and how did you work with the series creators to shape Cindy Carter’s personality and characteristics?
When I first read the script, it just jumped out at me, it was extraordinary. I’ve said before that roles like this in the UK don’t come around very often for black women – multi-faceted complex characters who exist in highly stylised, vibrant, action-packed worlds. I worked with the creator on Cindy’s backstory to ensure she was grounded in reality and didn’t become a caricature. I obviously also sprinkled my own special brand of Tahirah seasoning on this character.
We can’t ignore the 80s setting – the fashion, the music, what was it like for you being immersed in that world? Give us your favourite 80s pop track …
It was amazing, I loved it. I loved the outfits our brilliant costume designer put me in. One of my favourite 80s pop tracks is ‘I Feel For You’ by Chaka Khan.
Was it mind-blowing working with Martha Plimpton, any tips you picked up from her?
It was wonderful working with her, she’s so ridiculously talented and dedicated, and really really funny. She told me right at the beginning that she suffers from ‘imposter syndrome’ too, which made me feel a lot better about my own constant fear of being fired.
Tahirah Sharif & Josh Tedeku Image Credit: Cristina Rios Bordon/Sky TV
Highs, lows, solutions …
When filming any television show, there never seems to be enough time, so that’s always a major obstacle. Tensions can run high, as time is literally money. You have to be prepared before you even step foot on set, but also be prepared to adapt to any last-minute changes, as they will always come up. Fortunately, we (the cast) got on really well, so we were able to just have so much fun together and support each other.
What’s your current plan B?
No plan B’s man, this is it. I’ve worked too hard on my Plan A. I’ll always want to work in the creative industry, it doesn’t necessarily have to always be in front of the camera. Scriptwriting and producing are my other plan A’s.
What’s made you Sad, Mad, Glad this week?
Sad, my Mum came round & spilt pasta sauce on my cream sofa. Mad, annoying neighbours. Glad, all of the lovely responses to A Town Called Malice.
What are you watching right now?
The Last of Us.
What are you reading right now?
The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman.
What are you listening to right now?
The official A Town Called Malice playlist on Spotify of course.
The last thing you saw on stage?
Blues For an Alabama Sky at The National Theatre.
What’s on your bucket list?
Sky diving; Safari.
Celebrate someone else …
My big sister. I think she’s incredible, I always say I honestly don’t know how she does it all. She’s an amazing mother, wife & sister as well as working exceptionally hard at City Hall alongside the mayor of London.
Celebrate yourself …
I have worked incredibly hard and persistently to get myself into the position I’m in today both professionally and emotionally. I don’t need to make anybody proud of me apart from myself and my family, and that’s already been accomplished.
Whose footsteps are you following in?
All of those amazing Black and Brown British actors and actresses who opened tightly shut doors to enable me to be able to freely walk through them now.
The Tower: Season 2
Where can we watch A Town Called Malice?
Sky TV and Now TV